Montana weather conditions can make driving your car or light-duty truck a challenge. Rain, ice and snow can cause slick pavement. Poor visibility can make it challenging to stay on your side of the two-lane road. High winds make maintaining control of the vehicle difficult. Sharing the road with commercial trucks can be intimidating on a sunny day. Add poor weather and road conditions, and the results can be devastating.
According to TCS Fuel, heavy-duty trucks, also called big rigs, semi-trucks and tractor-trailers, can weigh more than 33,001 pounds when empty and up to 80,000 when loaded. Despite special training, it may not be the truck driver’s fault when a truck collides with another automobile. If your crash was the result of trucking company negligence, you might have grounds for a claim.
The more a company can ship, the higher the potential profits. However, trucks have weight ratings based on various components, including the number of axles, suspension, powertrain and brakes. If the load exceeds safety limits, the driver may have difficulty controlling the truck. The trailer may tip, swing forward and jackknife across the road, slamming into other vehicles in its path. The carrier may be liable for damages that result from the crash.
Tractor-trailer trucks used in commerce across the state and throughout the country must endure long distances and high speeds. Adhering to a proper maintenance schedule is crucial for ensuring it remains safe to drive. This includes taking the following steps:
- Tire maintenance
- Brake inspections
- Correcting faulty lights, reflectors and signals
- Checking the steering mechanisms, windshield wipers and mirrors
Carriers must also keep detailed records of maintenance checks and any issues.
Police reports, the company records regarding the truck, traffic camera footage and witness reports often help determine whether the carrier is at fault for your accident. A car crash settlement can help you recover lost wages and pay for the medical care you need to recover from catastrophic injuries in a wreck with a tractor-trailer truck.